Hot Tub Care Hot Tub Troubleshooting

How to Fix a Hot Tub Leak

Not one or two – many hot tub owners cry for help when it comes to hot tub leaks. It’s a problem that can turn a good day into the worst when you find a hot tub leak in your Spa or filled with foam. Most of them don’t even know they have a leak problem until it’s too late – when the water level is dropping quite first might be the sign for some. Most of these leaks are quite hard to find. You might spend the whole day searching for the part that’s leaking.

I believe you may be having the same problem. Are you? If you’re then welcome to this post. If you’ve never experienced it and have a hot tub or plan to get one in the future, this is your post. I will explore the various ways you can find a hot tub leak, how to fix it, and also tell you if you can repair it.

Let’s get started!

How to find a hot tub leak

Help! My hot tub is leaking! That is a statement I have come across most time than I can count in the hot tub forums. And the problem faced here isn’t sole about fixing the leak but also how to find it. Before you can start repairing the hot tub leak, you need first to see the spa leak, and without the right know-how, it can be tricky and time-consuming. I’m here today to make that smooth and straightforward. So, how do you find a hot tub leak?

Wet water-drip leakage

The most likely sign that signaled a leak in your hot tub is most likely; your Spa is losing water faster than usual. If that is your case, dry up any spilled water around your hot tub. You can use a towel or mope to dry the place. You may also get the best leaf blower to clear and dry the area.

Once the place is dry, check for water droplet leaking. How do you do it? You need to refill your hot tub and wait for the water level to fall. There is a possibility the water can make a wet patch on the floor around your hot tub and give you an idea to locate the leak.

It will also give you an idea of how the leak is since the water won’t drain below the leakage level. Most of the time, the hot tub leaks are in the equipment bay. So, open the cabinet and do it carefully. If there are screws you need to remove, do it with the right screwdriver. Workaround the moisturized area until you locate the leaking part.

Connections and joints

The first place to start is the cabinet – open it and check the pump. That is the most likely place to find a hot tub leak followed by the heater. You should check all the visible components and all the plumbing. Try to locate a leak – check if you see any water dripping from the joints. If you can find any, you can move to the next phase.

The Heater heat assembly manifold consists of the heater itself, the pressure switch, and other components. Check for any leaks here. If no water is dripping and no wetness around, you can rule that part out.

Another spot you can find a leak is in the union fittings around the heater and pump. They can become loose and need tightening. You should also check the valves and inspect every faucet on the hot tub. The hot tub valves might be broken or loose too.

The pipe and jet connections must also be check to make sure the leak isn’t there. There might be a small hole or loosened joints.

Another spot prone to leaks is the hot tub shell. With most of them made using durable fiberglass combined with some other layers, hot tub leaks are possible. In most cases, the hot tub leaks are found around the jets and other components connected to the shell.

You can also use food color to locate the leak. If discovering the leak becomes tougher than you, though, you can use a small amount of food color to find. When you pour some in the water, follow it and see where it goes. It’s an excellent method, especially if you’re dealing with a wet area.

How to Fix a Hot Tub Leak

Before we can dive into how to fix a hot tub leak, it’d be best to know your spa warranty options given when you bought the hot tub. The leak repair might void your warranty, and if it’s a broken part that you never broke, then the repair might be handled by your insurance provider. If you weren’t able to find the leaks, here are hotspots for leaks and how you can fix them.

#1) Pump

As I mentioned earlier, the pump is the most common spot where hot tubs leak due to all the pressure insert on the joints. If you are checking this area, you should turn off the power and check under it for any drips – a sign of water leaking. Typically there are three causes of pump leaks: the shaft seal, volute, and union fittings.

Seal shaft: – if the seals have failed, you need to replace them without the need to replace them if that is the problem in the pump.

Union Fitting: – Here, you need to check a three-part connector located at the pump entrance and exit. Most of the time, it needs tightening by hand, not with a wrench. You might also need to adjust the O-ring or replace it with a new one.

Volute: – if you find a problem with the volute, where the pump impeller is housed, it would be best if you replaced it.

If the leaks are on all these parts, there may be an underlying problem with your pump. You probably need to replace it altogether as the problem might occur, again and again, costing you more than it would cost you to displace the pump.

#2) Heater

If you found the pump to have no signs of leakage, the heater fittings might be the fault part causing the leak. You need to check the heater itself, pressure switch, and other components, including the connections. If you get a problem with the connectors, you probably need to replace them or tighten them with the best plumbing glue like the best-seller Loctite Clear Silicone Waterproof Sealant.

#3) Valves

Hot tubs come with multiple valves styles, each having a unique way of getting repaired. Some hot tubs come with the valves installed on one side of the spa pump. That means you don’t need to shut it down or drain it if the pump needs repair.

Some valves come with compartment bolted together using a gasket between the spa compartments. That is the most leak-prone area of the hot tub valves. You should inspect all the hot tub valves you can find in this area and replace them.

#4) Connections

With a hot tub having multiple connections from the jets, pipes, and other parts, it’s possible to find the leak. If these connections are leaking, some might are easy to solve with a simple tightening or sealing, while others might need a full replacement.

If there is a failing gasket, you have to get the right parts since different hot tubs use various gaskets. If your hot PVCs have cracks or puncher holes, you can use an instant gem like the WaterWeld Epoxy Putty Stick for sealing the cracks or the pipe holes. It does make the place stronger than the pipe itself.

#5) Spa Shell

As I mentioned earlier, most hot tub shells are made using secure fiberglass layers combined with other layers. That explains why most people never guess the leaks in this area. Most of the time, the problem isn’t on the shell but preferably on the jet or other component connections on the hot tub shell. If your hot tub leaks, you can use the best-seller Loctite Clear Silicone Waterproof Sealant for the sealing work. You can also replace any defective components to avoid future problems.

Is it possible to prevent hot tub leaks?

And to be realistic, there isn’t much you can do to prevent hot tub leak. Besides making sure the plumbing is done right, minimize vibration, and check the pump mounting from time to time, you might not input much in preventing hot tub leaks. And to avoid the hot tub from vibrating that can cause loose connection and attachments, place your Spa on thick rubbers.

Adding full foam insulation to your hot tub cabinet can also improve your pipework while bettering insulation. However, there is a problem with this method – doing this can make it tough for you when a repair is needed. You’ll have to dig in to find the leaks and do the necessary repair and replacements.

Another thing that should be a default for you is to limit physical damage to the hot tub. While moving, it makes you’re the process is done slowly and carefully and, of course, minimizing vibrations. Install it properly.

Final Word!

Fixing a hot tub leak shouldn’t be tedious or expensive unless you’re replacing lots of accessories or components. You also need to know when the hot tub isn’t worth fixing. At times you might be repairing something that will fail again in a couple of weeks or months. If this happens, you might be forced to do a whole-repair, which might be quite expensive.

About the author

Sharif Miah

Hi! I'm Sharif, the founder of Globo Pool® and I have been working in the pool & hot tub industry for the last few years. I love to share my experiences with people & hope you are enjoying my information and lessons!

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